Li Ning, Olympic Hero and Global Sports Brand

BEIJING, Aug 11, 2008 -- On Friday night, Li Ning, China's revered gymnast, lit the Olympic torch in one of the most spectacular Opening Ceremonies in the history of the Games. In doing so, he also helped put his own company and entrepreneurial spirit on the world stage.

It has been 24 years since Chinese gymnast Li Ning competed in the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles. It was there that he stunned audiences by winning a total of six Olympic medals for gymnastics; three gold, two silver, and one bronze in the category. After leaving the gymnastics stage in 1989, his passion for athletics was channeled into the founding of his eponymous company, Li Ning, which has become China's leading sporting goods company. Its market shares in China rivals those of adidas and Nike.

Li Ning founded his company under the banner "The Hope of the New Chinese Generation." Since that time, the company has grown globally, all while staying true to its home roots. The Olympic Games represent a pinnacle moment in the storied history of China. The Games, he says, "give new life and opportunities to the Chinese themselves."

When building his company, Li Ning's goals were two-fold: to empower others to realize their own personal potential, and to become China's first national sporting goods brand. With the mantra, "Anything is possible," the company has risen to become China's premier sporting goods provider, and this summer's Olympic Games will feature the most foreign teams to ever wear the Li-Ning(R) brand. Li-Ning is sponsoring four Chinese national teams -- table tennis, diving, gymnastics and shooting -- and Li-Ning apparel will be worn by the Spanish, Swedish and Argentine national basketball teams, the Tanzanian track and field team, Sudanese marathon runners and the U.S.A. Table Tennis team.

Li-Ning (R) has championed product development since its founding less than twenty years ago. Now, the company's international brand development is underway. Consumers should look for more from Li-Ning(R), through the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games, and beyond.


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